Helping Fife’s creative community to flourish is one of our key roles. A thriving creative community helps retain local artists and performers and invites new artists to live and work here – all of which raises the region’s creative output. A thriving creative community also brings economic and community benefits, with research indicating that 44% of respondents found that the arts scene was an important decider on where to live.
Community Art Exhibition
James Yorkston, Tae Sup wi' a Fifer
Artist, Celie Byrne & Musician Rab Noakes
Rachael Nixon, Channix Millinery
Fife’s creative sector thrives through strong partnerships. We’re proud to support partners who help bring high profile performers, artists and curators to the region. In 2006 our museums and galleries team started working with the very talented Fife Contemporary Art organisation and in 2012 we started hosting its exhibitions annually. Currently we host two exhibitions a year across St Andrews Museum, Kirkcaldy Galleries and Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries including this year’s very successful NEXUS exhibition which centred on some incredible items of jewellery.
Encountering Fife, hosted at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, hit the headlines as the exhibition captured the moving and poignant experiences of migrants fleeing their own countries and moving to Fife. The Museum of the University of St Andrews worked with migrants, pupils from Madras College, St Andrews, and Fife Council to curate the exhibition. Two of the young Syrian refugees who participated were interviewed for an STV news report at the end of January 2019.
An international collaboration between Japanese artisan papermakers and Scottish artists showcased beautiful handmade prints created by members of Fife Dunfermline Printmakers Workshop in an exhibition at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries from September 2018 to January 2019. Events included Meet the Artists gallery tours, a talk by Lord Charles Bruce on the links between Scotland and Japan, and a very graceful Japanese Tea Ceremony.
This event was also a retail success. Over £2,500 worth of limited-edition prints, catalogues and greetings cards were sold through the venue shop during the exhibition.
Another important partnership is with Kirkcaldy Photographic Society which celebrated its 120th anniversary by presenting Kirkcaldy Then and Now at Kirkcaldy Galleries from November 2018 to March 2019, featuring photos of the town’s landmarks over the last 12 decades.
Our Community Gallery at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries exhibited work by people attending local community art classes. FifeSpace Galleries in Rothes Halls and Lochgelly Centre hosted a varied exhibition programme, including contemporary local, national and international artists.
Highlights from the programme include supporting exceptional Fife-based visual artists who have recently graduated. This year, our new graduate artists were Jane Bullivant from Newport on Tay and Tina Scopa from Kirkcaldy.
As well as exhibitions for new Fife graduates we also support artists without formal qualifications, thanks to the Shell Fife Art Competition. This competition has helped launch many careers including that of global success Jack Vettriano, with whom we have continued to nurture a relationship, helping us to bring his blockbuster exhibitions to Fife. Indeed, we are proud to have secured a first for Fife; in 2020, never-seen-before early works produced under the name of Jack Hoggan will be on display at Kirkcaldy Galleries.
Pecha Kucha is an inspiring and entertaining quarterly event which brings Fife’s cultural community together, leading to advice, connections and collaborations that have helped the careers of creatives. Good Pecha Kucha presentations uncover the unexpected. Presentations are filmed and presented on the Pecha Kucha international website, reaching a worldwide audience. Our presenters have included visual artists, musicians, storytellers, poets and illustrators.
Many of the world’s biggest festivals started out as small, community events. We believe that supporting grass roots festivals is a powerful way of growing Fife’s cultural output. In September 2018 we supported Dunfermline’s Outwith Arts Festival by hosting the town centre pop-up filmhouse in Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries as well as helping with the marketing and promotion of the festival.
Each year we mentor University of St Andrews students through the staging of an exhibition from curation to marketing. Their spring 2019 exhibition at St Andrews Museum, Unfolding Fans, delved into the splendour of fans, revealing the stories behind their beauty.
During the year we also helped artists to sell their work. Fife Printmakers sold over £2,500 worth of work through our shop and St Andrews Museum sold many of the Embroiders Guild exhibits during the Explore 2018 exhibition. In December 2018 we launched a new Christmas Fayre as part of the Tiny Little Christmas Festival, welcoming 16 stalls –ranging from jewellers and florists to bag makers and marquetry.